Do you have a perverse obsession with designer handbags? Junya Watanabe seems to for fall, dangling quilted numbers and Instagrammable top-handled cuties from elaborate S&M harnesses encasing some of the coolest coats and blazers seen this Paris season.
These glossy bags — up to four at a time — encircled hips like flotation devices, or banged against the legs, heightening the punk allure of this energetic, slyly humorous show. The models resembled Courtney Love or Debbie Harry back in the day after a sweaty thrash of a set — blonde hair jutting in a finger-in-socket way; lipstick smeared. (Blondie’s “Heart of Glass” ruled the soundtrack and she was depicted on the invitation.)
Watanabe’s leggy display, with snakeskin miniskirts and outré cheetah-print leggings, was not exactly in sync with the polished, demure mood of many other designers this season, but when is he ever? The designer continues to find new ways to interpret biker jackets — fusing three together for a wacky, sculptural skirt, or applying the zippered fronts to terrific tweed redingotes and cocoon coats — and trenches, here in red and ending just past the bosom.
The collection was succinct, but the degree of perversity wide. His broad-shouldered jackets were as fine as Miuccia Prada’s, also encircled with a purse belt, but occasionally sheltering bondage straps on the back. Sprays of tulle and lacy slips completed this witty and inventive play on subversive femininity. Watanabe should do sexy more often.